QUINCY -- Just days ahead of a state-imposed deadline, members of the Quincy City Council voted to confirm Mayor Kyle Moore's appointment of John Mast to the vacant 5th Ward seat vacated by Terry Traeder earlier this spring.
Under state law, Moore had 60 days from Traeder's resignation to have a nominee approved for the seat. The deadline was June 23.
Mast, a Quincy businessman, was confirmed by the seven aldermen and the mayor. Four aldermen -- Jeff Bergman, R-2; Tom Ernst, R-3; Michael Farha, R-4; and Tony Sassen, R-4 -- voted present.
Both Ernst and Farha said that they voted present because they believed the council should have delayed the confirmation vote to allow Alderman Mike Rein, R-5, to attend the meeting and share his thoughts. Rein was absent from Monday's meeting for an undisclosed reason.
"I like John, and I think he will do a great job," Ernst said. "I just thought that the 5th Ward alderman should be present for this vote, and we could have waited another week for him to be here."
Bergman and Sassen were not available for comment following the meeting.
Mast, a Republican, will be sworn-in during a inauguration ceremony prior to next week's City Council meeting. His term will expire in 2021, Moore said.
Mast said he is ready to address issues facing the 5th Ward, which encompasses much of the southeast portions of the city, including Westview Golf Course and John Wood Community College.
Mast said he has been a "longtime supporter" of the Quincy Public Library, describing it as a "valuable resource in our city."
"My opinion is obviously not the only one that is important, so I will definitely look at (the library budget)," Mast said. "I'll also listen to what the citizens of the 5th Ward have to say about it."
Mast said he supports the Quincy Next Strategic Plan, a stance that Moore said made Mast stand out amongst the other possible nominees.
"What really impressed me, though, was in the interview that we had that he had a really good grasp on the issues that we are dealing with as a city and that he wanted to hit the ground running to represent the 5th Ward," Moore said. "I thought it was important that we have somebody who is familiar with and who embraces the Quincy Next Strategic Plan. The 100 items we have on the list are items that if we implement them can really help us grow by leaps and bounds in the city of Quincy."
The Quincy Next Strategic Plan is a 137-page document with 10 core initiatives that was approved by the aldermen.
"I am really excited about some aspects of the plan, including increasing our population, retaining our citizens, attracting new tourism dollars, and I really look forward to digging into it with the rest of the aldermen and moving that plan forward as the citizens of Quincy want," Mast said.
Following the meeting, Moore said he was still in the very preliminary steps for finding a 1st Ward aldermen following Virgil Goehl's resignation last week.
He said he has submitted names of possible nominees to the Adams County Democratic Central Committee and is awaiting their feedback. The deadline for Moore to appoint a successor for Goehl is Aug. 2. Goehl, a Democrat, will be replaced by a fellow Democrat, Moore said.